Directr — Movies as Simple as Photos
When you watch a good movie, even the short ones, you should know that a lot more goes on behind the scenes than just shooting with a camera. You need a storyboard to begin with, either on paper or in your mind, which is nothing but a planned sequence of all shots and angles you are going to shoot. Then, of course, you need to edit it, add some titles, and finally add sound (foley) as well. Until now, to create something like that, you needed a video editing software (like iMovie), which includes learning how to use that software, some idea of a storyboard, along with creativity and a lot of time. But now with Directr on your iPhone it lets you create cool looking movies which goes through all of this process, but within a few minutes!
According to its creators, Directr seems to answer the question, “Why can’t making a great little movie be as easy as taking a picture?”. Directr does a fantastic job of making little movies for you. I would call Directr as the ‘Vine’ for longer and more beautiful movies.
In spite of having an extensive feature set, Directr has a surprisingly simple and beautifully minimalistic interface. You are asked to shoot or load a bunch of existing clips from your camera roll, re-arrange and trim them if you want, add titles along with a nice sound track and finally post the resulting clip to your profile. But the greatest strength of Directr is their built-in storyboard library. You can either start a movie from scratch or just pick a storyboard from over 200 choices that they give you. There are storyboard examples for every situation of your life — ‘alone and bored at home’, ‘waiting in traffic’, ‘at an event’ or even quirky ones like ‘superhero intro’. They give you clear instructions about how each clip can be, with illustrated examples and they even give you free matching soundtrack choices for each storyboard. Directr doesn’t stop at just great movie making, they give each user a profile page, let you have followers and follow other people, comment on videos, like them and share your videos on the web as well.
But Directr is not all that perfect. To begin with, it takes longer than expected for your movie to get created and be uploaded to their cloud. It is fair for the creators to expect us to keep the app open while the movie is uploaded, but my device auto-locked while that was happening and the developers haven’t taken measures to prevent that. Another feature on my wishlist would be allowing me to save the final movie to my camera roll. Lastly, the app does suffer from occasional stability issues which is a shame considering how amazing the whole concept of Directr is and how well the app has been designed. But none of that should stop you from trying it and making some really cool movies. You can check out some of the best movies created by their users here for inspiration.
Directr is currently available Free on the App Store. The app was recently updated to version 2.0 and with this update, rendering movies and uploading is 3x faster and the app seems lot more stable now.